Doom not gloom

 Wax Tablet
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  November 7, 2013

waxtabs_easternspell_main
A still from Eastern Spell’s ‘Entraced’ video

When you’re a doom band, nothing matters. Least of all rules of decorum dictating how music reaches the fickle public. Let the fools worry about sequencing their precious 10- to 12-song full-length albums; doom metal bands will simply issue a single track at a time, anywhere from eight to sixty-five minutes, and watch as the city crumbles under its weight. That’s what we’re seeing with Eastern Spell, whose song “Entraced” is an 11-minute journey of epic mortal toil: metallic guitars, crusty vox, a proggy breakdown, and a curveball thrash part seven-and-a-half minutes in. Perfect for putting on repeat and driving around without snow tires, cooking and devouring a stir fry, or taking a long, depressing bath. Eastern Spell play a show November 14 with the immortal Portland metal band Eldemur Krimm, whose work roughly a decade ago slayed without apology. Fans of this stuff must also be aware Eastern Spell have a split 12-inch coming out with metal dogs Sylvia in the next few months. Visit easternspell.bandcamp.com.

Hey man, wedding season is over . . . phew! Wait, what’s that? You didn’t get enough bubbly? Did that firepit smell wash off your post-reception flannels too quickly? Didn’t see that window of opportunity to make out with the bridesmaid/DJ/groom before it was too late? Well, it looks like you’ve got another chance. The Americana folk band Gunther Brown are staging a wedding for a video for one of their songs, and filed an open invitation to their FB fans to start the party. Looks pretty BYOB, but the band seem prepared to make it worth your while in unabashed human mayhem. In the words of bandleader Pete Dubuc: “We need people to be prim and proper and we can keep you from ruining your clothes, but we also need people who want to go all in and come out a total mess.” Sounds rootsy indeed. Visit Gunther Brown on the ol’ FB if you wanna partake.

No one plugging in guitars these days can shake the influence of ’90s Sub Pop bands. You’ll pick up that kernel of dumb, grungy swamp-punk in a seven-song debut by Portland group Afghan titled Strangers, released this week. Simple, not-too-fast punk tunes falling in and out of tempo and key, full of youthful frustrations, bizarro preoccupations, and unsophisticated appeals toward the fairer sex. In other words, the life of the American twentysomething outsider-dude, which is likely its primary demographic. Worth a spin. Visit afghan.bandcamp.com.

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